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Event: Mastering CX in transport & infrastructure

A discussion with Emilie Perrot from Yarra Trams, Mark Byrne from Transurban and Larry McGrath from John Holland.

Published on
July 21, 2017

Last week in Melbourne and Sydney, CEC held the latest event in our breakfast event series. Three guest speakers from the transport and infrastructure industry came together to discuss their viewpoints on how customer experience impacts their organisations and the industry as a whole. Emilie Perrot from Yarra Trams, Mark Byrne from Transurban and Larry McGrath from John Holland Group spoke on their challenges and successes around creating better customer experiences for their customers.

Emilie Perrot, Yarra Trams

Yarra Trams is the largest tram network in the world. With 500,000 passenger trips per day, and with 85% of lines sharing roads with cars, this presents quite a challenge for ensuring a consistently good customer experience! Emilie shared Yarra Trams' experiences in engaging CEC to help create a solid customer experience strategy, which sets out their customer proposition and principles. Using this strategy, Yarra Trams was then able to address the known customer pain points, integrating a Voice of Customer program for continual improvement, and work on instilling a customer-centric culture.

She said the biggest challenge has been to get buy-in from the breadth of people across the organisation. To work at this she's had to be quite dynamic with initiatives such as inviting execs to speak with passengers, co-design solutions with different parts of the business, and building business cases that show the ROI.

Larry McGrath, John Holland

John Holland is an infrastructure, property and services provider within Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the Middle East. Larry spoke about John Holland's initial journey to becoming more customer-centric as an organisation, and the pushback they received as a B2B organisation seen to not have direct relationships with 'customers'. In fact, John Holland's products are 100% used by end customers. Larry shared that the organisation's goal is to deliver enjoyable experiences for end customers, and improve not just the individual experience but the interactions with the customer as a whole.

Larry mentioned that, in essence, a big part of this comes down to relationships and going above and beyond what you're obligated to do. Larry noted that customer experience is not just about the interactions, it is about the bigger picture. He drew on his experience as Chief of Staff for Gladys Berejiklian during her time as the Transport Minister, and used the example of Transport for NSW making simple improvements that made a big difference. They opened up real time data so others could create apps like TripView, and provided training for train announcers coaching them to speak into microphones more clearly and enunciate better.

Mark Byrne, Transurban

Transurban are owners and operators of 13 toll roads across Australia, including Melbourne's own CityLink, which facilitates around 2 million trips per day. There is also a significant customer-facing part of the business, with around 12,000 phone calls to the call-centre and 60,000 visits to the website per day. Mark shared that Transurban's journey towards being more customer-centric began with engaging CEC to help them get to know their customers and their journeys, and then co-design ideas on how to improve the experiences, all delivered in a CX 'playbook'. Since then Transurban have used the playbook to help guide the development of new products, new channels, address pain points, and instigate a new customer acquisition program.

They've more recently been working on a proof of concept for a new tolling solution, which allows customers to pay per trip and doesn't require an account - something the 80% of 'infrequent' drivers are desperate for. So far, the customer feedback has been incredibly positive, with a 90-point uplift in NPS with users of the new app. Mark attributes this to their resolution to remain steadfast in taking a truly customer-centric approach.

We would like to thank everyone who attended these events and a big thank you to our speakers who make these events such a success. The Customer Experience Company has made a contribution to each speaker's charity of choice: Emilie Perrot - Western Chances, Larry McGrath - Epilepsy Action Australia, Mark Byrne - Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

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